Often, something's popularity only illustrates how little I understand people and their behavior. From grown men devoting their free time and money to video games and fantasy sports -- to certain presidential candidates -- what passes for popular is increasingly beyond me.I say that only to hedge my criticism of Snapchat's latest money-making endeavor.
Before Facebook sells a single Oculus Rift headset, how could the social giant turn people onto the wonders of virtual reality -- and significantly increase mobile engagement in the process? By launching a stand-alone video app that can support 360-degree "spherical" videos, of course!
Apple's been having a tough month. After getting caught in the market's recent downdraft, investors pummeled the stock on the heels of its bummer of a news event last week. The company that Steve Jobs built could use some good news -- and it appears to have come in the form of new iPhone sales projections. Yes, after just a few days of preorders, Apple says the latest versions of its popular smartphone are on track to surpass last year's first-weekend sales of 10 million units.
Did you really think Google and Twitter were going to let Facebook, Snapchat, and Apple take their profitable positions at the intersection of mobile consumers and news? No, sir! Google and Twitter are reportedly appealing to publishers to show "instant articles" to their many users. The duo is promising publishers that, just as with Facebook's own "Instant Articles" effort, their program will guarantee faster and more reliable delivery of news stories.
Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller called the new iPad Pro "a magical piece of glass you hold in your hands" during the company's annual "wear jeans and watch super-slick video of devices moving through space" presentation yesterday. Maybe because I'm sensitive to these things, or maybe because I'm new to the mobile/tech space, but that word magical... even if it was just a piece of corporate hyperbole, it bothered me.
Taking a big leap forward, this week Instagram is finally offering some sophisticated targeting capabilities to advertisers, as well as expanding its ad program across more than new 30 countries from Spain to South Korea. Instagram's ad technology is finally leveraging Facebook's ads infrastructure -- something brands have long begged for.
Will Millennial Media provide the spark that AOL needs to ignite its mobile ad business? The company now has 238 million reasons to hope so. Unfortunately for AOL, some top analysts are throwing shade at the deal, and its implications for the company that Tim Armstrong saved.
Mobile use is a-changin'--and increasingly, in Facebook's favor. For the first time ever, the social giant's Messenger app has surpassed Google's YouTube app in popularity, according to fresh findings from comScore.
This week Google, Intel, Netflix, Cisco, Mozilla, Microsoft and Amazon announced the formation of the Justice League of Internet Video -- also known by its more official, if less incredible, title: the Alliance for Open Media. In keeping with the best traditions of Internet development, the companies will be pooling their resources to develop a new series of media codecs (compressor/decompressor algorithms, a la HBO's "Silicon Valley"), which will create an open standard for media, most especially video, on the Web.
The next time you message a contact on LinkedIn, do you think they'll prefer a smiling pile of poop or the classic yellow smiley face? Both ill-advised options will soon be available to millions of LinkedIn members, thanks to a new chat-like messaging interface, which supports photo attachments, stickers, GIFs, and emojis.